LOTS OF WATER: The Tarong Power Station also relies on water from Boondooma Dam.
LOTS OF WATER: The Tarong Power Station also relies on water from Boondooma Dam. Katherine Morris

How water cut-off will impact Tarong Power Station

HIGH priority water allocations such as Tarong Power Station aren't affected by the Boondooma Dam cut-off rule.

Water used at Tarong Power Station is dependent on unit capacity and load demand in the energy market.

The majority of water that is used at the power station is to cool the excess steam from the steam turbines.

The cooling towers release water vapour into the atmosphere as part of the cooling cycle.

This can equate to 50 mega litres a day depending on unit capacity, load demand and ambient conditions.

"We are quite aware of the impact we have on Boondooma Dam and we are building into our system, ways and means to conserve water," Greg McIntyre, Site Manager of Tarong Power Station said.

These include drawing water from Meandu Mine, reusing cooling tower blowdown water in the Meandu Creek dam and the re-instating of Wivenhoe Pipeline in September 2017.

Wivenhoe Pipeline is regularly used to target off peak electricity tariffs.

There are many water challenges at Tarong Power Station including:

Wievenhoe pipeline capacity does not allow Stanwell to source the daily requirement from Wivenhoe Dam for the long term.

The evaporation effect of the cooling tower concentrates the salts, regular blow down to Meandu Creek Dam is reuired to shed the build up (up to 20ML a day).

As water levels in Boondooma Dam deteriorate, salinity increases.

Access to Wivenhoe Dam is intended as a measure to mitigate against a prolonged drought or catastrophic failure of Boondooma Dam.

Stanwell is committed to the future of Tarong by ensuring its cost competitive and flexible in its operations.

Water is the single biggest cost to generation other than coal.